JASON LINE WINS READING, TAKES POINTS LEAD
Winning championships is nothing new for Pro Stock driver Jason Line.
Line captured NHRA world championships in 2006, 2011 and 2016.
Line took a small step in adding to his total by winning the Mopar Express Lane NHRA Nationals Presented by Pennzoil at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading, Pa., Sunday.
Line clocked a 6.553-second run at 210.60 mph in his Summit Racing Equipment Chevrolet Camaro to edge Fernando Cuadra’s 6.594-second lap at 208.78 mph.
“It was a big victory for sure,” Line said. “Not one of my shinier moments, but a big victory nonetheless. I was a little tardy, I wasn’t Alex Laughlin tardy, but I was tardy. Not what you want to do in the final round for sure.”
Line had a .070 reaction time. When Laughlin won the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Sept. 2 he had a 0.120 reaction time against Erica Enders in the finals, but got the win when Enders had engine trouble late in the run.
Cuadra also runs KB motors and was gracious in defeat to Line and beating a customer like Cuadra wasn’t lost on Line.
“It really looked like his (Cuadra’s) day,” Line said. “Even Greg (Anderson, Line’s teammate) had me juked out. He told me your car is probably not going to start when you get up there because it was his day to win. I did feel a little bit bad. He struggled all year and today was his first round win. One side of me really wanted to see him win, but everything happens for a reason and he’s going to get his win, there’s no question about it. It was a nice day for him as well.”
Line’s victory parade in his Ken Black Racing machine consisted of wins over Wally Stroupe, Bo Butner, Matt Hartford and Cuadra. This was Line’s 50th career Pro Stock national event win and put him in first place in the points standings – 39 in front of his KB Racing teammate Bo Butner.
Line is only the fifth Pro Stock driver in NHRA history to get at least 50 national event wins, joining Warren Johnson, Anderson, Bob Glidden and Jeg Coughlin Jr.
Line made his Pro Stock debut in 2003 in Columbus, Ohio.
“I probably should have got there a long time ago,” said Line about now having 50 career Pro Stock wins. “That means I have had some great race cars to drive and some great people who I have got to work with over the years. It has been a fun ride for sure. There is no easy race day for sure. I was pretty fortunate. I didn’t drive great by any means, but I had a great Hot Rod for sure. Sometimes you have to win ugly and I’m Ok with that to.”
Line has three career victories in Reading – 2004, 2011 and 2019.
“Over the years I’ve traditionally had really fast cars here (in Reading), and I like this place,” Line said.
The second race in the six-race Countdown to the Championship is the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals in St. Louis, Sept. 27-29.
“If you would have asked me at Seattle (Aug. 2-4) if I would have thought we would have had a chance to win the championship I would have told you no,” Line said. “Right now, we arguably have the best car. In the last three race I’m sure we have got the littlest points of any car out there. I’m not trading with anybody that’s for sure. We have a good chance. All we have to do is do a good job of driving and it will happen. It is easier said than done, but that’s what makes Mello Yello drag racing great.”